March 16 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.” ~Deuteronomy 28:9

While the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 28 cannot be directly applied to modern nation states, the dual principles of the passage should not be ignored. God longs to bless His people, and obedience is the path to blessing. However, the opposite is also true. God does not want to discipline His people, but those who rebel against Him can expect to experience His displeasure and the fruit of their own folly.

The Israelites were not perfect people (modern Christians are not perfect followers of God’s commands either), which is why God set the sacrificial system into place. Then He provided the greatest sacrifice of all, Jesus Christ. However, Jesus’ sacrifice does not give us free reign to act or think in whatever manner suits us. Perhaps one of the most important convictions we can develop deep within our souls is this: God’s ways are the best ways. Following Him is not always easy, but obedience is the path to blessing and joy. Deuteronomy 28 and the promises of Scripture are an appeal to God’s people to seek their own happiness by seeking to glorify God in their lives! Our human problem is NOT that we desire our own happiness, but that we seek it in the wrong places.

Here is how C. S. Lewis describes our foolish habits in his book Weight of Glory, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

God longs to bless us; we must believe that truth from Scripture. When He calls us to obedience, He is calling us out of the slums to enjoy a holiday with Him. A lengthy, lengthy holiday! The journey there may be difficult, but the destination is delightful! Let us obey Him and experience His blessing. Let us love Him with everything we are.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.